Jemison to offer firefighter course

Published 11:06 pm Monday, July 12, 2010

A course hosted by the Jemison Fire Department will offer local volunteer firefighters the opportunity to become certified.

The 160-hour training course, taught by JFD Chief John Dennis, who is also an adjunct instructor with the Alabama Fire College, will put volunteers a five-week bridge program away from state certification.

“It’s the same thing they would be getting if they went to recruit school,” Dennis said about the course in Jemison. “Anybody can grab a hose, turn the water on and spray water on a fire. After this course, they’ll actually have an understanding of how fire behaves—be able to anticipate what’s going to happen next based on building layouts and save as much of the structure as possible.”

A representative from the state fire college registers participants for each block, stops by throughout to check on the material being taught and administers the written test at the end of each block.

The course was taught last year for the first time, and Dennis said he would like to make it an annual or every-other-year event.

Thirty-two firefighters from 11 different departments registered last year, Dennis said, and 23 completed the course.

Eighteen firefighters from five departments—Jemison, Collins Chapel, East Chilton and Gap of the Mountain departments—have already registered for this year’s course. Dennis said enrollment will be limited to 25.

“It’s just hard to get all the skills done with that many people out there,” Dennis said.

The course will comprise four 40-hour blocks: History and Introduction to Fire Service (to be taught beginning Aug. 3), Basic Firefighting Skills (September), Advanced Firefighting Skills (October), and Hazardous Materials Awareness and Operations (November).

For more information about the course or to register, call Dennis at (205) 287-1791.